Chiefs vs. Patriots Betting Picks, Predictions & Odds: How to Play this AFC Championship Rematch
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Phillip Dorsett
- The New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs as 3-point favorites.
- Our experts preview the Week 14 NFL matchup, featuring betting odds and picks.
- You'll also find analysis of the biggest mismatch and Sean Koerner's projected spread.
Chiefs at Patriots Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds
- Odds: Patriots -3
- Over/Under: 48.5
- Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: CBS
Odds as of Thursday evening and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Sunday’s late afternoon slate features a rematch of last season’s AFC title game between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots. The 3-point spread implies this matchup would be close to a pick’em at a neutral site, so where’s the value on this matchup?
Our experts preview the game, featuring a staff pick as well as a comparison to Sean Koerner’s projected odds.
Chiefs-Patriots Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Patriots
The Patriots downgraded Tom Brady (toe/elbow) to limited practice on Thursday, but there’s nothing suggesting he would actually miss this game — this is likely just the Patriots being the Patriots.
They also have their usual players limited in practice with Julian Edelman (shoulder) and Mohamed Sanu (ankle). Given Sanu played last week, I would expect both receivers to suit up against the Chiefs. Offensive lineman Ted Karras (knee) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, suggesting he could be out on Sunday. He’ll need to get in a practice on Friday to have a shot.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, placed running back Darrel Williams (hamstring) on injured reserve and Damien Williams (ribs) still hasn’t returned to practice after an early exit in Week 13. The only healthy running backs on their current roster are LeSean McCoy, Darwin Thompson and the newly-signed Spencer Ware. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Patriots RBs vs. Chiefs Defense
This AFC Championship Game rematch between heavyweights means the edges both teams typically enjoy are mostly negated. In terms of overall DVOA — Football Outsiders’ schedule-adjusted efficiency metric — the Patriots are No. 2 and the Chiefs are No. 4.
Neither team has a below-average mark in offense, defense or special teams.
Even from a betting trends perspective, this sets up as an unstoppable force vs. an immovable object. Per our Bet Labs data, the Chiefs are 34-18-1 (65%) against the spread on the road under Andy Reid … but the Patriots are 91-54-5 (63%) ATS since 2003 in Foxborough with a spread of -17 or less and 30-11 (73%) ATS coming off a straight up loss in games started by Tom Brady.
If we drill down more deeply, though, the one area that stands out as a problem spot is Kansas City’s defense of opposing backfields. The Chiefs are ranked 30th in defensive rushing DVOA, and though some of it is by design in a much-improved pass defense under Steve Spagnuolo, they’re also allowing the second-most schedule adjusted receiving yards per game to opposing running backs at 61.5 (per Football Outsiders) while allowing the second-most yards per target to the position (7.6).
Despite recent Brady helmet-slamming induced narratives, the Patriots have been an above-average offense even after adjusting for strength of schedule: They’re 10th in overall offensive DVOA, 14th in passing and 16th in rushing. The Chiefs set up as a running back funnel, ranking 30th in DVOA against the run and sixth against the pass, but just 17th on passes to running backs.
The Patriots have been hurt by injuries at fullback and tight end, leading to a revolving door at two of their key run-blocking positions, but they’ve seemingly found some new wrinkles as of late, which were fully on display last week against Houston. One is employing Elandon Roberts as a fullback, and the other is running more from the shotgun, where they average 0.4 more yards per carry than under center.
Despite falling, 28-22, Patriots backs turned in a strong effort on the ground with James White (14-79), Sony Michel (10-45) and Rex Burkhead (3-15) combining for 139 yards on 27 carries — a 5.2 average. White also went 8-92-2 through the air last game, which may be needed again with Brady’s receivers struggling to separate downfield. — Chris Raybon
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Patriots -3
- Projected Total: 49
I’m right in line with the market here, so this is a pass for me. — Sean Koerner
John Ewing: Patriots -3
The Patriots are 10-2 and have outscored their opponents by 177 points — the best point differential in football. It’s weird to say it, but despite their success this season, Bill Belichick and Co. have actually underperformed based on Pythagorean expectations.
According to Pythagorean expectations, the Pats should have 10.4 wins. That 0.4-win difference between expected and actual wins isn’t much, but it does point to value on Brady and Belichick.
Historically, winning teams that have underperformed their points expectations have been good bets late in the season.
A $100 bettor following this strategy would have returned a profit of $2,952 since 2003.
This is not the only historical data on the side of the Patriots this week. After a dismal performance on Sunday Night Football, gamblers should expect New England to bounce back. Since 2003, Brady has gone 35-13 (73%) ATS after a loss.
Our Bet Labs simulations also like New England in this matchup making the Patriots 3.5-point favorites. All signs point to value on the Pats at the key number of 3.
I like the Patriots at anything -3 or better.
Ewing is 313-285-16 (52.3%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.